Hopefully you've read part one of this two-parter on the Self High-Low offense. After reading that you should have a pretty good foundation of understanding of the offense. If not, do not fret, we're here to cover the rest of it. In the last post we talked about the base formation and what that means, plus the wing entry. In this post, we'll cover the other two ways to initiate the offense. Let's get started...
First things first, we're talking about the High Post entry.
A High Post entry is simply when the ball goes from the point to one of the post players at either elbow. When you're in a 4-high setup the defense will occasionally slack off a bit. This is generally the time to execute the High Post entry, since most defenses are going to give a post player a turnaround 15-foot jumper.
Once the post receives the ball the first thing he is going to look for is the back door basket cut from the ball side wing. If the defense falls asleep you have an easy two points, nothing more to worry about, carry on. This happens more than you expect because a players first instinct is to turn his head to where the ball is going. So if the ball goes to the post player standing next to him, he'll check it out and see if he can notch an easy steal, meanwhile the player he is supposed to be guarding is cutting right to the basket.
If that basket cut isn't open, the opposite wing can sometimes be open for a cross court "skip" pass as he drops to the corner.
Most of the time the action that you're looking for is the third look, where the point guard walks his defender towards the ball, then makes what is called a fade cut (which is really any time you are cutting away from the basketball), and receives a screen from the opposite post player.
The post skips the ball over to the point guard now on the opposite wing. As soon as the pass is made, both post players move down into a double screen for the wing who made the original basket cut.
There are three different ways to set this double screen. First is a stagger screen like we documented is part one. The second is a pinch screen. What happens with a pinch screen is the two players setting the screen stand near shoulder to shoulder. The offensive player runs his defender through the screen by going in between his two teammates, and they immediately step together to "pinch" the defender from his path. The third way is to just set a wide screen. Usually this is when the two screeners will just stand next to each other and be as stationary as possible to the player coming off the screen can determine how to run off of it.
Once the wing receives the ball from the point guard, it's very easy for the offense to get right back into their set. The posts simply flash high to the elbows, the point guard stays put, and the opposite wing cuts to the last spot on the floor to return to the beginning.
For fun, here is KU running this same action in the same game as before.
A bit of a side note, the offense here runs brilliantly except for one thing. The lack of patience from a then freshman Sherron Collins. Instead of holding his stance and letting the offense run, he dribbles and by a beat misses Chalmers coming off the screen clean for the jumpshot. His two dribbles cost the team an easy three point attempt for their best shooter from that team. So while the offense runs flawlessly, it's ruined by an impatient freshman point guard. Eh, Kansas probably scored on the possession anyway.
The last type of entry into the offense we have to talk about is the Dribble Entry.
To wrap up, the Self High-Low has potential to score a lot of points and do so quickly. It's dynamic because there are so many options to go through in a very shot period of time. It puts tremendous pressure on a defense, both on the ball side, and on the weak side, to be in the perfect position. The question at this point is how does the Mizzou personnel fit to make this offense a winner for Mizzou?
Why this offense is good for Mizzou? It allows them to take advantage of supreme athleticism in the post with players like Johnathan Williams III, Jakeenan Gant, Torren Jones and even Keanau Post. Rosburg can also be effective in this offense because of his great footwork and great size. The guards will love this because we will have guys that should be very effective attacking the basket. Wes Clark and Namon Wright are known for their ability to get to the rim and this will benefit them. Getting open shots on the perimeter will come down to guys like Cameron Biedscheid and maybe Tramaine Isabell. The shooting is what worries me a little about this team. But hopefully this Self High-Low will do a good enough job of getting good easy looks for our bigs to take the pressure off any three point shooting.
To end I found this really great YouTube video from Self's Illinois days. It shows offensive possession after offensive possession of Illinois just executing this offense and getting great looks. Here's to hoping this is what we have to look forward to in the coming years at Mizzou.